Bees that have visited Claviceps paspali infected grasses inoculate their honey with the honeydew secretion. In the language of the Makai Indians, the resulting honey is called fic’e and is recognizable by its pungent aroma. Consumption of large amounts is dangerous, for it can produce dizziness, headaches, and drunkenness; it is said that it can be lethal. This honey is used to brew a beer or mead, certainly a beverage with potent effects. It is said that the monks ate the spikes with the husks, whereupon they displayed symptoms of inebriation and were no longer able to stand. It is said that these effects lasted for several days. (Chauduri and Pal 1978)
Communities of Origin
Moist environments in India and south-central North America, from California to Florida. Found infecting wild grasses like the common grass Paspalum and Cyperus species.
beta-tubulin intron 3 region (for Claviceps species differentiation)